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The Effects of Employment while Pregnant on Health at Birth

By Charles L. Baum

Abstract

Today, many pregnant women take a brief period of time off work to give birth. This article explores the effects of pregnancy employment on health at birth. Initial results show that pregnancy employment has beneficial effects. However, these effects often become statistically insignificant when I control for earnings from pregnancy employment and when I examine women employed prior to the pregnancy and siblings in fixed effects models. I conclude that beneficial effects of pregnancy employment are due to increased family income via earnings and to unobserved heterogeneity. There is no evidence that pregnancy employment adversely affects health at birth.(JEL J1, J2, J3) Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

DOI identifier: 10.1093/ei/cbi019
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